Your pool is an integral part of your expanded living environment and careful consideration needs to be given to the design and location to ensure it is both visually stunning and functional.
There are many great reasons to get a pool, including having a dedicated space to keep fit, cool down, entertain friends or keep your kids entertained for hours.
Just like your home itself, your pool and surrounding outdoor spaces are a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. You need to invest time in the planning process in order to achieve the best results.
When you start thinking about the design of your new pool, there are many factors to consider;
Concrete or Fibreglass
Depending on your site, ground conditions or sloping areas, this may steer you towards either a concrete or fibreglass pool.
A concrete pool can be constructed in-ground or above ground level without the expense of retaining walls and the structure can be renovated in 20-30 years time to bring it back to a new pool. A concrete pool will be custom designed to suit your needs and to fit in with the landscaped area you require. Steps, ledges, alcoves and features will be placed where you want them. The off-the-shelf nature of most molded fibreglass pools can rule out customisation and you are limited in terms of pool shapes on offer from each factory.
Fibreglass pools have transitioned from the typical kidney shape to a more refined design style where with the right paving choices they can look just as striking as concrete.
Ultimately, your design intentions, budget and pool location will drive your choice of pool type.
Size and orientation
The first and most important step is to inspect the space you’ll be working with and choose a pool that is appropriately sized for the area and your requirements. While inspecting, keep in mind that you need to factor in living space and landscaping around your pool area. You need to consider not only the size of the pool itself but also if you will need an area for lounging, deckchairs and entertaining within the fenced pool area. The pool should make the most of the available daylight for natural solar heating and be placed at a distance from existing mature trees that may drop leaves. You also need to consider the location of the pool pump, cover and accessories for suitable storage. These can be cleverly incorporated into the design so they fit seamlessly into the space.
The pool finish you choose will have a significant impact on your pool’s final design aesthetic. There are many types of pool finishes to choose from, including plaster, tile, and aggregate finishes, and each type comes in an array of materials, colours, and textures.
Plaster is the oldest and most common pool surface finish and comes in a range of colours. It’s important that you choose a colour that enhances the architecture and style of your home; the colour of your pool can have an amazing effect on the overall look and feel of your garden or backyard.
Tile is one of the most durable pool finishes and offers an array of design possibilities. Tiles are often applied to the pool’s waterline, floor, or steps to provide a colourful accent; but they can also be used to finish the total interior of a pool. Tile’s glossy appearance makes the most of water’s reflective properties and are adored for the artistic look and upscale glamour they lend to pool designs and other water shapes.
It is a common myth that a tiled pool is considerably more expensive than a plastered pool, however, this is not true. In most cases, the difference is negligible. To find out more about the benefits, read our blog article – Why tile my pool.
Aggregate pool finishes are the new generation of plaster pool surfaces. They consist of white or coloured plaster mixed with small pieces of quartz, granite, river stones, or glass beads. Aggregates come in two forms: polished and exposed.
It will keep you and your family safe, and in some cases, add an element of privacy. The type of fence you choose depends on your aesthetic preference. Fencing options typically include glass, aluminium and masonry walls. Glass has a luxurious feel that allows the fencing to disappear and showcase the pool as the feature. Aluminium and steel fencing are a more cost-effective solution, and if placed correctly in the right garden can fit well.
Lighting within and around your pool is critical to its success. Not only does it create an atmosphere within the pool space, it adds to the feel of the whole garden and home, sometimes visually extending your home at night. For energy-efficiency, try LED lights. They are easy to maintain and are cost-effective to leave on for extended periods of time.
Pool covers are a cost effective and convenient way to save water, chemical and heat evaporation. They also will save you time and money when it comes to the maintenance of your pool. When it comes to the type of pool blanket and the method of installing it, there are a variety of options available.
Pool blankets can be made of either a lightweight bubble plastic or insulating foam material, both types float on top of the water. They can be installed manually, with the assistance of an above ground roller or by using an underground blanket box (manual and automated options available).
Hard pool covers are made of interlocking slats that rest on the surface of the water, and can support the full weight of an adult. A reel operates the slats, automatically covering and uncovering the pool at the push of a button. These covers also provide a great safety aspect.
The surface around the pool is critical. Ensuring the surface underfoot is soft and does not attract too much heat is important. Natural timber under shade is a great solution and a soft travertine stone paver is great in the areas exposed to a little more sunlight. All of this needs to match with your home and overall design style you are trying to achieve.
Travertine pool pavers will give your pool area a natural look. They are a natural limestone material and are slip resistant. Unlike other pavers such as concrete and brick, the travertine pool pavers remain cool under foot. Due to their long-lasting capacity, a range of colours and patterns, slip-resistant, and warm tone, they go well with any pool.
Concrete Pool Pavers materials are strong, smooth or textured and durable. They are made in different colours and styles. The best paver advantage of using them for pool paving is they are salt resistant, when you select the correct range.
Brick Pool Pavers are rarely used as pool pavers today but are always a good option for salt resistance & slip resistance. Clay brick pavers are the most durable of all paving around sale chlorinated pools. One of the big advantages of using them is that they don’t crack or fade due to continuous exposure to the sunlight.
Pool surrounds cont’d
Aggregate is ideal for pool surrounds. Removal of the top cover delivers an attractive skid resistant surface that gives a glimpse of the natural stones underneath. There’s a vast range of colours and different compositions of crushed granite, earthy mixes of pebbles and sands.
Decorative concrete is versatile in design and composition. It can be shaped into stylish curves or the regimental straight lines of premium tile work. The top layer of the concrete may have a brushed-through, or a stamped pattern effect, or can be even further honed to give the appeal of a premium polished floor.
Adding grass around a pool adds colour and texture and softens the overall hardscape. Natural grass does not absorb heat like stone, brick, concrete, and other man-made surfaces making it more comfortable on bare feet. It does of course need constant maintenance and be durable enough to withstand chemical splashes.
Timber decking is a very flexible and attractive material to use around your pool and provides a much cooler surface to walk on when compared to concrete or tiles. Timber generally provides a very good non-slip surface and when installed correctly, ensures excellent drainage. The natural colour of the wood can also provide a stunning contrast to the light and vivid blues of a pool, enhancing its visual appeal even further.
Adding a water feature to your pool can add a whole new element to your project. When choosing the feature itself, consider the scale of the pool and the surrounding garden. If it’s too big, it will completely dominate the space and too small it will look like it was just “plonked in”. You also need to take into account the size and orientation of the equipment needed to operate the feature and how to conceal it to achieve that clean, seamless look. Some options for water features include; water walls, water blades, water spouts, water jets, fountains and water decks.
A well-located pool can add a month of swimming time either side of summer through passive solar heating of the pool. Unfortunately, this is not always possible and other supplementary alternatives need to be considered. Fully understanding initial and lifecycle costs of the various heating options (most commonly solar, gas and electric) and their size and space requirements are worthwhile prior to installing your pool. Screening and positioning of these along with the pool pumps and filtration away from your pool living areas and alfresco spaces is recommended.
Shade and accessories
Whether it is a built form (alfresco style) or natural (trees), shade is important to the success of a pool space. Too much and you will have a cold pool, and too little and the time a pool can be used will be limited in the hottest months. Having shade over the pool is often a consideration for those with young children, while a space to retreat to and relax by the pool in the shade is also important. Choosing and designing around your favourite piece of poolside furniture, or better still, building in some poolside furniture can often drive the size and shape of the covered space. Also, consider a poolside shower or water feature to add to the pool design.
Plant foliage adds beauty and cools the pool area. To avoid spending more time cleaning your pool than swimming in it, consider adding plants like Star Jasmine, Agave and Mondo Grass. As part of your pool design process, we will help you find plants that will compliment your pool setting. To find out more about the best species to plant, read our blog article – Top 5 species to plant around your pool
Need some help?
With so many elements to consider when undertaking a pool project, it is quite easy to feel a little overwhelmed.
Why not take advantage of a complimentary consultation with our in-house Pool specialist who can provide you with expert advice on all the options available to you.
TDL Pools specialises in clever pool designs, merging innovation and practicality in a way that reflects your individuality and sense of style. A swimming pool that is sympathetically integrated into your backyard, adds new flexibility to your homes living and entertaining areas.
Contact us today and book a consultation with our in-house pool specialist.